UA Boxing Club Provides Teaching, Training to Students of all Skill Levels (2023)

By Rylie Curry

Tuscaloosa, ALA.— Founded just five years ago in 2014, the University of Alabama Boxing Club provides an opportunity for students of all skill levels, knowledge, experience and dedication to participate and learn the sport of boxing. However, unlike other club teams at the University, the boxing club faces restrictions and rules which hinder their training, participation in competition and ability to fully practice the sport as student representatives of the University of Alabama.

The UA boxing club began in 2014 as a way for students interested in the sport to continue to learn about boxing and train after their high school careers and training in their hometowns had come to an end. Cameron Carver, a sophomore at the University of Alabama in 2014, got the idea and support for the club after he noticed other students in his classes shared his admiration and interest in the sport. From there, Carver and his friend Jaun Carasquilla founded the club, holding multiple practices a week to train interested students in sparring and prepare for potential competition.

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After gaining enough interest from fellow students and several months of training, the UA Boxing Club evolved into two teams. The regular club team remained an outlet for students of all skill levels to participate, learning more about the sport and improving their skills, while a competition team was formed for more experienced students looking to participate in real fights. However, the team found it difficult to prepare for such competitions due to restrictions put on the club as a result of the University’s insurance and liability policies. Because UA prohibits any physical contact on campus, members of the competition team would travel nearly an hour to a boxing gym in Birmingham to train for competitions, making it difficult for team members to find time to make the drive and train throughout the semester. In 2016, members of the team attempted to pay for the insurance themselves to be allowed to spar on campus, but were denied by the University Recreation Center.

Despite becoming officially registered with USA Boxing and the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association in 2016, the UA Boxing Club remains prohibited from participating in any physical contact on campus, including sparring against one another. In addition to being unable to spar, the University has not allowed the team space in the UA Recreation Center to hang heavy bags they bought, so the bags remain unused in a storage closet. As a result, the team’s only available training on campus involves sparring with hand held mitts held by a partner and footwork drills, while the competition team travels to the gym in Birmingham on the weekends, which is not always possible.

Gage Wassweiler is a senior at the University of Alabama and current president of the UA Boxing Club, leader of the competition team, and head coach for new members of the club and competition team. A member of the club team since his first semester at UA and a member of the competition team since his second semester of college, Wassweiler said he has always been frustrated with the University’s restrictions and liability issues.

“Not being able to spar with one another is difficult because it is the best way to train for competition,” Wassweiler said. “It all makes training for fights a bit harder than it should be.”

The competition team typically must travel north to participate in tournaments, where the sport is more popular and they can compete in intercollegiate competitions. The events are USA Boxing sanctioned, allowing gyms throughout the state and surrounding stages to sign up to participate, meaning that the UA team often faces competitors who are older or not college students. While the team still wears UA shirts and UA Boxing Club shirts to competitions, they must wear blank boxing jerseys in the ring so as not to be associated with the University.

At the University of Alabama, clubs submit forms to use the University’s money that is allocated for each club. In years prior, the University allowed the competition team to use these funds for travel expenses and fees associated with competing. However, the team’s request was denied for the first time last year, with no explanation as to why. As a result, the team was forced to restructure in order to no longer be associated with the University.

“It’s been confusing because when the club first started up, the school said we were allowed to fight, just not spar on campus,” Wassweiler said. “After a couple of fights they just changed their mind and said we can’t even fight and we don’t really know why they switched up on us.”

Wassweiler said that even though the club has plenty of money it often goes unused. Because the competition team is not allowed to use University money to compete, students must raise the funds themselves, often reaching out to coaches from other schools who allow them to stay in their homes to lighten travel expenses. Fundraising is not an option, as any money raised must go to the club team and is not allowed to be used for competing.

“We just have a bunch of money in our school fund that they won’t let us spend on anything,” Wassweiler said. “We could use the money for equipment, training, travel expenses and competition fees, but instead the money just sits there.”

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Brad Gomez, a senior at the University of Alabama and vice president of the UA Boxing Club, trains at a gym in Northport, Alabama as a result of the restrictions placed on the club and competition team. At Skyy Boxing, home gym of world renowned boxer Deontay Wilder, Gomez is able to use heavy bags, sparr against fellow boxers at the gym and receive training and tips from professionals in the sport.

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While Gomez is able to train at an off campus gym to improve his personal skills and ability, he said the restrictions limit the overall potential of the club and competition team.

“Boxing is as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical sport,” Gomez said. “While footwork drills and sparring with hand held mitts are important, they aren’t enough when it comes to anticipating your opponents next move, how to position yourself, the angles in a fight, or other specifics like that. Without actually getting contact against other boxers, club members are really limited. It’s frustrating as vice president because I want to help members succeed and improve as much as possible, but I’m unable to utilize all the tools necessary or even all the tools at our clubs disposal.”

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While the restrictions most impact more experienced members of the club who are on the competition team, newer members with little to no boxing experience also feel hindered by the University’s restrictions.

Adam Jett, a sophomore at the University of Alabama, began participating in the club in the fall of 2019. As a competitive swimmer in high school, Jett wanted to expand his involvement in sports once he entered college and more opportunities became available to him. After attending several practices over the course of a couple of months, Jett was featured as Rookie of the Week on the UA Boxing Club Instagram. While Jett said he mainly views the club as a new form of workouts and exercise, he said he would like more options available to him when training in order to improve his skills at the sport.

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“Sparring with a partner holding the hand mitts is fun and helps you learn forms and how to throw punches correctly, and it’s a good way to get to know other members of the club,” Jett said. “However, I would really like to work with the heavy bags, and I can definitely see how participating in actual sparring would help me understand a lot of the concepts better.”

As a student without a car, Jett’s only resources for improving his boxing skills are those available to him through the UA Boxing Club and UA Recreation Center.

Moving forward, Wassweiler said the club leaders have been in talks with the University and the University’s recreation center in hopes of being allowed space for heavy bags, but being allowed any contact on campus seems unlikely.

“Contact on campus has never been allowed, and we’re more understanding of that, but it’s not really logical that we’re allowed to use the heavy bags if we have nowhere to hang them,” Wassweiler said. “We’ve been talking with the Rec Center about getting space, so we are hopeful that something will change next semester as our competition season is heaviest in the spring.”

Wassweiler and other members of the competition team plan to participate in at least three more fights and competitions next semester. With interest in the sport rising and membership increasing each year, the hope remains that as the club and competition team grows, its access and ability to train will too.



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  3. Student-Centered / Constructivist Approach. ...
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  5. Montessori. ...
  6. Inquiry-Based Learning. ...
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The Most Effective Learning Techniques

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Lesson Summary. The two main types of teaching methods & strategies are teacher-centered instruction and student-centered instruction.

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In the contemporary classroom, five distinct teaching styles have emerged as the primary strategies adopted by modern teachers: The Authority Style, The Delegator Style, The Facilitator Style, The Demonstrator Style and The Hybrid Style.

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Instructional material, also known as teaching/learning materials (TLM), are any collection of materials including animate and inanimate objects and human and non-human resources that a teacher may use in teaching and learning situations to help achieve desired learning objectives.

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Types of Teaching-Learning Materials: Teaching-learning materials can be classified into three types i.e., audio aids, visual aids, and audio-visual aids.

What kind of learning materials should be used? ›

Visual Material: These include blackboards, flashcards, printed textbooks, presentations, graphs, etc. Using these tools reduces the monotony of learning and improves the retention power of most students.


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